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New home for Lord in Sonepur - Installation of idols on anvil, long wait for car festival to be over

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  • Published 24.01.11

Sonepur, Jan. 23: Idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, which have been kept in a house at Kotsomalai village in Subarnapur district for over three years, will soon be installed in a temple in the village.

The idols, which were donated by the Puri temple administration to the management of Patali Srikshetra in Kotsomalai about three years back, would now be shifted to a newly constructed temple during the Patali Mahotsav (the annual car festival). The festival is scheduled to begin on February 3.

Gajapati Maharaja of Puri Dibyasingha Deb is expected to attend the installation ceremony of the lords. Sources said Kotsomalai village, which became famous after the Puri temple administration had granted it the Patali Srikshetra status, was unable to observe the annual car festival for the past three years as the deities could not be installed.

District culture officer Gadadhar Barik said the installation ceremony would take place during Patali Mahotsav.

Barik said several people had come forward to donate for the daily expenditure of the deities. “There are several people who have offered for the puja and other daily expenditure of the deities. We have already got donations of Rs 500 each from 365 persons from across the state for daily expenditure. It will last a year,” Barik said.

He also said a new and bigger temple would soon come up at Patali Srikshetra. Puri temple administration has specially made the idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra for nearly Rs 55,000 from the temple treasury and donated the idols to the action committee for installation in 2007.

On hearing the news, Jagannath devotees are happy. “I had been waiting for this day. The past few years had been painful for us as we couldn’t celebrate the car festival at Patali Srikshetra as the gods and goddess had not been installed. Now, we will be able to observe the car festival here,” said a villager of Kotsomalai.

A team, led by the then chief administrator of Puri Jagannath temple, Suresh Mahapatra, and researchers on Jagannath cult and sevayats of the temple, visited Kotsomalai village in 2007. They pronounced that Lord Jagannath had been hidden in a cave at the nearby Trikuta hills for 144 years to get rid of the attack of Raktabahu and Kalapahad.

The Puri temple administration has announced all possible help for development of the area and in a rare gesture, donated the idols for installation at Patali Srikshetra.